While saying these prayers, a person meditates on certain points in the life of Christ. These are divided up into 4 groups of 5 “mysteries”, The Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful and Glorious. The Vatican has a very nice description of the Rosary. Click on the images to get a description of each set of mysteries.
The Confraternity of the Holy Rosary also has good information on how to pray the rosary. rosary-center.org/howto.htm Please note the links to the mysteries at the top of the page.
Why do RC’s worship mary and the saints by praying to them? I always felt uncomfortable when I was told to do this because I felt that I should only pray to God. I don’t see anything in the Bible that says you can’t but it just seemed odd to me even back when I was RC.
Do you worship your friends when you ask them to pray for you? That is what Catholics are doing when we pray to saints. For the Catholic, there are two intentions when prayer, when we pray to God, it is part of our worship. When we pray to saints, including the Blessed Virgin Mary, we are asking them to pray for us as well. This is known as the “communion of saints.” It is through the power of God that the saints can hear our prayers, not through some power we think the saints themselves posses.
Today, Lawyers in the USA still use the word “pray” in formal legal documents when asking the court to hear or consider a certain point they are making. Lawyers are certainly not worshiping the judge. This is the same sense that Catholic use when praying to saints.
I remember when going to catholic school (the 60’s) if we were early then we were ushered into “mass” and the priest and altar boys would walk around the room with smelly incense burning in a pot hanging from the end of a stick and waving it around…what’s the significance of the incense?
Incense represents our prayers rising to Heaven. It is based on several references including one in Revelation.
I remember our class going to confession…and it was so hard to try and think up a sin or two when you were put in that booth that I made stuff up…really, I felt if I didn’t have anything the priest would think I was lying or something. Is the confession thing mainly for serious sins? or all sins?
This may be due to poor teaching, you have to know what a sin is. That you made things up in confession was itself a serious sin, but then I suspect you know that. As was stated by another poster, it is important that one perform an examination of conscience before confession.
Confession is primarily for grave (mortal sins). However, as we become better at resisting temptation, many people begin to confess less serious (venial) sins in an effort to become more holy.
To obtain a divorce in the RCC I remember that you had to pretty much dive through burning hoops and it took forever…is this still the case?
Divorce is not permitted nor is it recognized in the Catholic Church. However, if one has gotten a civil divorce, a person can petition the diocesan tribunal to investigate the marriage to see if it was a valid sacramental marriage. This is known at the “nullity” or “annulment” process. If a person has married and divorced, they cannot remarry a different person as long as their first spouse is alive, unless that marriage was declared invalid. By the way, it may appear that there is a loophole here; if a person were to cause the death of (murder) their first spouse. In those cases, the surviving spouse still cannot marry.
And lastly, I heard recently that the RCC had changed it’s position on baptizing babies or something like that, maybe it was on unbaptized babies not going to hell or something. Can anyone elaborate?
The Church has not changed it’s position on Baptism or the fate of unbaptized babies that die before baptism. As for the later, the Church recently stated that it has not made a determination as to what happens. However, many mainstream news media outlets mis-reported this and stated that the Catholic Church had eliminated “Limbo”. The Church has never declared any doctrine or firm teaching regarding Limbo.